Red Curry Paste

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About


  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 6 star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • 6 dried long red chillies, deseeded, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and chopped
  • 12 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped galangal
  • 4 coriander (cilantro) roots, scraped and chopped
  • finely grated zest of 1 kaffir lime
  • 3 tablespoons Thai shrimp paste, wrapped in foil and roasted until fragrant


Roast the peppercorns, cumin, coriander seeds, star anise and cinnamon in a dry heavy-based frying pan until very fragrant and darker in colour, but not burnt. Grind to a powder in a coffee or spice grinder and mix in the paprika.

Pound the chillies, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, coriander root, lime zest and shrimp paste in a mortar with a pestle until you have a fine paste. Combine with the dried spices and mix well. Or use a blender to process the ingredients until smooth, adding a little water or oil if necessary.